To the Editor:
When I read last week’s article in the Keizertimes about depression, it made me pause and think about the things that are really important in life. Whatever the cause of depression, we must always remember that where there is breath, there is hope. I myself am familiar with hardships, in fact it’s easy at some point to look back over our life and struggles to see any good through the many disappointments. This is quite common as you get older—life is short and full of trouble.
I am well acquainted with disabilities, I also have had the honor of being a caregiver for seniors as well. I used to go with my dad, when he was alive and in better health, to retirement and nursing homes, where we would play music and sing the old favorite music from the past. I spent many years myself, sitting with the parents of many of Keizer’s families as they were lying on their death beds, many of them for the most part forgotten about and left there by themselves. As I spent time, listening and praying with them, trying to give them a little bit of hope, I learned about the importance of family, and the common struggles and concerns which often go unheard. Depression is a common ailment in older age, this is something that all generations can identify with, disappointments come to all of us eventually.
There is no answer for why there is suffering in the world, other then that the very one who we often seek to blame, is the only one that loves us in ways that we will never understand, and that’s God. My grandmother had a favorite saying that is especially popular throughout the Bible. We may not understand things now, things may not be the way that we would have them to be, but just like tapestry, we will one day look back on our lives and come to appreciate the value of our lives in ways that we were never able to understand on our own.
Our lives hold more value then what we could ever realize. Whether it be Robin Williams, or the unknown soldier suffering and dying in a strange foreign land, there is an all-seeing eye who beholds the sparrow when it falls from the sky, and knew us each intimately before we were ever in our mother’s womb, and that He is the only one who has been there and truly cared for all of us all along.
Ponder the words of an old hymn which resonates both now more then ever: “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”
(Visit keizertimes.com for the full version of this letter.)